How much money do Arsenal have?
Arsene Wenger has apparently been given a £50m war chest for the January transfer window - if he wants to use it. But how much cash do Arsenal have?
Cash reserves stood at £154m at the end of the financial year in May, but the Arsenal Supporters' Trust thinks that the amount available is actually far less. After one has deducted advance season ticket money, VAT, money still owed on player transactions and debt servicing, it is probably about £42.5m.
The football business is loss-making. Excluding a £65m profit on player trading and the dwindling property business, the football operation made a pre-tax loss of £31m last season on flat revenues of £235m. The operating loss, the first for at least five years, was £19m. Player disposals and property income have disguised the problem ever since the move to the Emirates in 2006.
However, the new £150m sponsorship deal with Emirates will provide £30m in time for the summer transfer window. The new £3 billion domestic TV rights deal, plus an estimated £2 billion from overseas deals, should give Arsenal £35m a year more from next season.
At the end of the day, the club's strategy is still reliant on Uefa's financial fair play strategy being effective with clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City having to use the extra money to pay down debt. As we have argued before, the implementation and the enforcement of the policy cannot be relied upon.